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Cricket: Strong performance by Harlow Town

Cricket / Wed 31st May 2017 at 04:30pm

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HARLOW Town welcomed West Essex to Phoenix Park on Saturday on the back of glorious sunshine all week.

An early morning downpour threatened to damped the wicket, but new groundsman, Joe Holland, was well prepared to ensure the wicket was covered in the nick of time.

With Scott Alderson away with work, Neil Gladwin took the reigns for Harlow Town’s third league of the season.

Winning the toss, he inserted the visitors. Both opening bowlers, Pathak and Farmer, managed to get the ball moving and ensured the opening batters were never comfortable at the wicket. HTCC’s early breakthrough came via a sensational catch at gully from the diving Ashley Alderson. His left handed catching, diving away, matched with his Alan Shearer style celebration had the crowd leaping in appreciation. First change bowler, Eversden, was introduced into the attack and with his deceptive wobble, covered himself in glory with his first ball, Zahour lobbing tamely to Ronnie Yates at backward point. The next wicket to fall, that of opener Saleem, was an over of class bowling from Pathak. A constant line and length, with a hint of away swing ensured the first 5 balls were all played at and all missed. His sixth was a little straighter, clipping the outside of off stump, bowling the opener for 19.

A partnership needed to be broken and Elston’s introduction did just the trick as his leg side delivery allowed Pat Yates to complete a brilliant leg side stumping. From this moment, spin twins Shaun Alderson and Ronnie Yates bowled the next 20 overs. Yates was unlucky not to claim any victims, but his 10 overs cost just 28. Alderson claimed another four wicket haul (two bowled, one caught behind and one caught in the covers).

West Essex were dismissed for 191 with 3 of their allotted 50 overs unused.

Full of confidence, HTCC knew that they had the strength and firepower to record their second victory of the season. However, the start of their innings didn’t go according to plan. Ashley Alderson was bowled for 2, Holland was trapped on the crease for 1, Gladwin fell LBW for 6 and Pathak was clean bowled for 10. Baldwin watched the four wickets fall from the non strikers end and, at 59-4, HTCC were in a heap of trouble.

Thankfully HTCC bat deep. Baldwin, who mixed sound defence, aggressive attacking play and a deft touch with his late cut, was accompanied by Pat Yates who took the attack to West Essex’s change attack as they rapidly put on 50 between them. Unfortunately Yates played on, cutting a delivery that was a little too close to him. HTCC were teetering on 107-5.

This brought Daniel Farmer to the crease to meet Daniel Baldwin. Farmer, whose batting has improved immeasurably over the last two seasons, found ball striking far easier than anyone else who had batted. He found gaps, ran well, dispatched any bad ball and began to put HTCC in a commanding position. Baldwin brought up a well deserved 50, holding the innings together with another late cut. The pair batted faultlessly during their partnership and with the run rate completely in control, Farmer finished the innings off with a beautiful cover drive that took HTCC past their opponents total and brought up his own 50 as HTCC, eventually, cruised home with 3 overs to spare.

Baldwin finished unbeaten on 84 from 133 balls and Farmer 52 from 48 balls.

Harlow Town travel to second placed Westcliff on Sea on Saturday hoping to build on an excellent win.

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